The Annals of Regional Science

, Volume 59, Issue 3, pp 577–601 | Cite as

Dynamics of job satisfaction around internal migrations: a panel analysis of young people in Britain and Australia

  • Francisco Perales
Special Issue Paper


There is ample evidence that internal migration is a vehicle for upwards economic and social mobility, particularly amongst young educated people, with studies documenting favourable effects on objective labour market outcomes such as employment status, earnings and occupational standing. However, this literature has been more silent about the potential effects of internal migration on subjective measures of utility. In this paper I use panel data from Australia and Britain and panel regression models to examine whether and how internal migration is associated with young people’s self-reported job satisfaction, paying attention to the time dynamics underpinning the associations. This enables gaining a more holistic picture of the outcomes associated with internal migration during early adulthood. Key findings indicate that long-distance and work-motivated migrations have positive and statistically significant effects on the job satisfaction of young people in Britain and Australia, particularly amongst those who hold university degrees. Additionally, the results reveal time patterns in the ways in which job satisfaction and residential mobility intersect: long-term trends in job dissatisfaction can trigger internal migration, and internal migration can set long-term onwards trends in job satisfaction. I conclude by calling for further research on the outcomes of internal migration on subjective well-being leveraging the properties of panel data and using a life course approach.

JEL Classification

C23 I21 J28 J61 



I would like to thank Sergi Vidal for helpful discussions and suggestions. The BHPS data used in this paper were made available through the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Data Archive. The BHPS data were originally collected by the ESRC Research Centre on Micro-social Change at the University of Essex (now incorporated within the Institute for Social and Economic Research). Neither the original collectors of the data nor the Archive bears any responsibility for the analyses or interpretations presented here. This paper also uses unit record data from the HILDA Survey. The HILDA Project was initiated and is funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services (DSS) and is managed by the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research (Melbourne Institute). The findings and views reported in this paper, however, are those of the author and should not be attributed to either DSS or the Melbourne Institute.

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (pdf 314 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ARC Centre of Excellence for Children and Families over the Life Course, Institute for Social Science ResearchThe University of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia

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